UCL Summer School


Summer in London

London is a place like no other.

Ranked by QS as the world’s “Best Student City” for 2022-24, London is one of the world’s most iconic, dynamic and diverse cities, a global centre for entertainment, culture, shopping, the arts and an endlessly surprising and exciting place to be.  
Summer in the city is a special time of year that brings out the best London has to offer.  Late summer sunsets give you hours of daylight to explore the city after classes and UCL’s central location in leafy Bloomsbury, the traditional intellectual and literary hub of the city, gives you the perfect base from which to explore.  

Below are some of the many things you can do in your free time during the UCL Summer School.

  • Outdoor cinema Get settled on your picnic blanket or deckchair and enjoy some classic films under the open sky at one of the Rooftop Film Club's four locations. 

  • Open air theatre Each year the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre put on four productions between May and September.  You can also experience Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre, which is usually offered as part of our Social and Cultural Programme.  

  • Live music London is one of the greatest cities in the world for live music, with an exhaustive list of gigs on every night from the biggest arenas to the most intimate venues. Famous live music venues include Brixton Academy, Shepherd’s Bush Empire and the Roundhouse. Summer also sees day festivals across many of London’s parks including British Summer Time in Hyde Park, Wireless in Finsbury Park and many more day and camping festivals in the wider UK. 

  • Street markets While most markets run year-round, there's no doubt that they're a better experience if you're not peering out from under an umbrella!  Explore Borough Market, Portobello Road, Brick Lane, Columbia Road and Broadway Market as stalls spill out of shop fronts and over the pavements. 

  • Food Over the summer you will see many 'pop-up' dining experiences such as Street Feast, Dinerama and Kerb all over the city. Independent restaurants, food trucks and bars set up shop around a yard, allowing you to gather with friends and sample some award-winning comfort food. 

  • Beer gardens and rooftop bars Many London pubs have amazing outdoor spaces hidden away from passers by, either in the form of a garden or a rooftop.  Ask us for our favourites (including one on a boat) or check the TimeOut website for their suggestions on the best gardens and rooftops to enjoy a pint. 

  • Sporting events London is full of world-class sporting venues and events including the annual Wimbledon championships, which fall over the Summer School (1-14 July 2024).  

  • Parks and Gardens Did you know that 30% of London is green space?  The many garden squares in Bloomsbury date back to the 18th Century and with 8 Royal Parks throughout the city, you can take a stroll or ride a Santander Cycle (docked bike scheme) or several dockless bike schemes (Lime, Human Forest) and enjoy a picnic in the hundreds of acres of open space. Notable parks and green spaces in central and inner London include Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, Victoria Park, Hampstead Heath, Finsbury Park and Richmond Park.  

  • Lidos and open-air swimming There are a number of opportunities to swim beneath the summer London sky. Hampstead Heath, easily accessible by Tube and bus from UCL, has mixed, men’s and ladies bathing ponds as well as Parliament Hill lido (open-air swimming pool). Brockwell, Serpentine and London Fields lido are other prime locations to take a dip when temperatures rise.